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Thread: rising cost of producing movies

  1. #1

    Default rising cost of producing movies

    I notice thatt he cost of making new movies seem to be rising, especially big budget science fiction ones like Star Wars.

    From Wikipedia, here was the following cost of producing some movies:

    1977:
    Star wars - $11 million
    Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind - $20 million
    Saturday Night Fever - $3.5 million

    2006:
    Revenge of the Sith -$113 million
    Wedding Crashers - $40 million

    20017:
    Last Jedi - $200 - $250 million
    Guardian of the Galaxy 2 - $200 million
    IT - $35 million
    Beauty and the Beast - $252 million

    2018:
    Hans Solo movie - $270 million

    With such high expense, the films don't Have to do merely ok, but very well at the box office just to pay back their budget. That has to adversely effect movie making, leading producers to take perhaps less risk, and lead to less notable films.

    Another trend I notice is that the top box office movies are now dominated by big budget films. Of the top 10 movies of 2017, only one, IT, was a low budget film, and all were either a fanstasy/science fiction/horror or action film. None were a movie that told a simple story, like a Rocky.

    This was not always the case. In 1977 the top 3rd, 4th, and 5th movie at the domestic box office were Saturday Night F;ever, Smokey and the Bandit, and the Goodbye Girl, none which were big budget films
    Last edited by Common Soldier; July 06, 2018 at 02:19 PM.

  2. #2
    Gen. Chris's Avatar Compliance will be rewarded
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    Default Re: rising cost of producing movies

    That budget for Star Wars in 1977 is comparable to about 45 million now, but your point is still there/

    Also to be slightly fair, the reason Solo was so ing expensive is because they re-shot nearly 3/4 of the movie once Howard took over.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: rising cost of producing movies

    Quote Originally Posted by Gen. Chris View Post
    That budget for Star Wars in 1977 is comparable to about 45 million now, but your point is still there/

    Also to be slightly fair, the reason Solo was so ing expensive is because they re-shot nearly 3/4 of the movie once Howard took over.
    Even the Last Jedi was still $200 - 250 million. And as I was trying to say before my connection was lost, the movies dominating the top box office are all big budget films, which did not always used to be the case. In 1977, the 3rd, 4th, and 5th top box office movies were Saturday Night Fever, Smokey and the Bandit, and the Goodbye Girl, all relatively low budget films.

  4. #4
    HannibalExMachina's Avatar Just a sausage
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    Default Re: rising cost of producing movies

    some factors:

    11 mil in 1977 would be 45 mil in 2018. still less than a fifth of TLJ, but CGI is far more expansive than people realize. it would be interesting to compare the amount paid to actors, original star wars main cast werent huge names at the time.

    comparing the original star wars to close encounters, we see that it wasnt even that expensive for the time. oc, scifi was considered niche crap by the mainstream back then.

    if imdb is correct, A Bridge Too Far was the most expansive movie of 1977, at a 25 mil budget.

    not sure what you mean by simple story, could you elaborate? simple as in very basic, say transformers, or simple as in not on a large scale? rocky for example was largely shot on location, no big need for effects, extras, and expansive stars.

    name recognition is oc a huge factor in modern movies, which means big paychecks. doensnt always mean it makes sense, scarlett johanson has been cast to play this guy for an upcoming movie:





    Dante ‘Tex’ Gill is a trans-man, but the comparison would be...dubious, even pre-transition.

    but, its scarjo, so theyll fork over a lot of green.

    other examples would be jonny depp or will smith, who have delivered quite a few sub-par performances in recent years, and depps audience appeal has suffered for other reasons, but still, big names.

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    Default Re: rising cost of producing movies

    Actor salaries are insane. Harrison Ford got 25 million for Force Awakens. RDJ gets like 50 million + for each Marvel movie he is in, and that's like a quarter of the budget.
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    HannibalExMachina's Avatar Just a sausage
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    Default Re: rising cost of producing movies

    exactly. add the other big names in marvel productions (speak of the devil, i bet even in a smaller role scarjo aint cheap), and the names getting bigger as a consequence, and voila!

    also, advertisment has grown huge (though its not listed under budget usually), thats why films like solo need even more bank, plus the cut taken by cinemas, mostly big buisnesses themselves.

    the studios arent keen on risks either, thats why big franchises are now the norm. they bank on names like star trek, star wars, and LOTR. if youd like an insight into what, ehm, hampered the hobbit movies, aunty lindsay has you covered.



    i recommend watching all three parts, some real eye-openers in there.

  7. #7

    Default Re: rising cost of producing movies

    Quote Originally Posted by HannibalExMachina View Post
    exactly. add the other big names in marvel productions (speak of the devil, i bet even in a smaller role scarjo aint cheap), and the names getting bigger as a consequence, and voila!

    also, advertisment has grown huge (though its not listed under budget usually), thats why films like solo need even more bank, plus the cut taken by cinemas, mostly big buisnesses themselves.

    the studios arent keen on risks either, thats why big franchises are now the norm. they bank on names like star trek, star wars, and LOTR. if youd like an insight into what, ehm, hampered the hobbit movies, aunty lindsay has you covered.
    Bottom line, cinema is in a crisis. I recall that He Who Must Not Be Named is partially to blame for the advertisement circus modern movies have to navigate through. Maybe the rise of the quality TV series has contributed to the problem as well...


    i recommend watching all three parts, some real eye-openers in there.
    Yeah those are pretty good. And by "good" I mean depressing... The "Hobbit" trilogy must be one of the biggest cases of wasted potential in art history.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: rising cost of producing movies

    An economist's take on this:

    From wikipedia:
    In economics, economic rent is any payment to an owner or factor of production in excess of the costs needed to bring that factor into production.
    My point is that actors at the top of the popularity/recognizability pyramids are payed more than their work is worth because of the difference in popularity/recognizability between them and the next best suitable actor for the role.

    In economics, utility is the satisfaction or benefit derived by consuming a product; thus the marginal utility of a good or service is the change in the utility from an increase in the consumption of that good or service.

    In the context of cardinal utility, economists sometimes speak of a law of diminishing marginal utility, meaning that the first unit of consumption of a good or service yields more utility than the second and subsequent units, with a continuing reduction for greater amounts. Therefore, the fall in marginal utility as consumption increases is known as diminishing marginal utility.

    My point is that the more money -on top of what they can spend- actors have, the more difficult it becomes to get them to do a film that does not appeal to them.
    After a certain point, the only reason why an actor like Harrison Ford would do a film like Star Wars: The Force Awakens is not the utility of the money itself, but the desire to simply be higher on the list of best payed actors.
    That is, his perceived position in the desirability/value pyramid for actors.

    As the money first role actors would get to take home increased over the years, so did the need for films projects to increasingly rely on marketing efforts in order to make sure they would at least break even.
    The increased marketing efforts in turn, increased the recognizability of the actor names involved, making the popularity/recognizability pyramids increasingly steeper.

    To make things worse, the accumulation of great wealth became much easier in the USA over the years, especially for those at the top, though the image below is not about personal income tax.


    Interesting link: Why It’s Absolutely Crazy That We Don’t Ask Millionaires to Pay More Taxes
    Last edited by paleologos; July 06, 2018 at 03:50 PM.

  9. #9
    LaMuerte's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: rising cost of producing movies

    Budget can never compensate a lack of ideas and originality.

  10. #10

    Default Re: rising cost of producing movies

    Quote Originally Posted by HannibalExMachina View Post
    some factors:

    11 mil in 1977 would be 45 mil in 2018. still less than a fifth of TLJ, but CGI is far more expansive than people realize. it would be interesting to compare the amount paid to actors, original star wars main cast werent huge names at the time. 
    I have seen some amatuer movies tnat had pretty good special effects. Maybe there is too much emphasis on kick ass CGI, and instead of spending it on what makes the story believable. The first Star Wars movie spent a lot less than Close Encounters, yet I thought its special effects were better. Maybe we need directorss figuring out ways to do their movie spending less, but achieving the same effect. I think of Water World, where I heard a lot of money was spent on filming in the middle of the ocean instead of filming close to shore and use camera angles to give the illusion that the action is in the middle of the sea. Maybe instead of very expensive CGI, good old models and other things can be use.


    not sure what you mean by simple story, could you elaborate? simple as in very basic, say transformers, or simple as in not on a large scale? rocky for example was largely shot on location, no big need for effects, extras, and expansive stars. 
    By simple story, I mean one about ordinary people without any super special effects, with no superheros with super powers, and no car chase scenes or over the top massive fight scenes I was thinking of in 1977, you had Goodbye Girl as one of the top 10 films, there was not science fiction or fantasy in it, no supernatural monsters, no car chase scenes. A movie where the acting, not action, tells the story.

    
    name recognition is oc a huge factor in modern movies, which means big paychecks. doensnt always mean it makes sense, scarlett johanson has been cast to play this guy for an upcoming movie:





    Dante ‘Tex’ Gill is a trans-man, but the comparison would be...dubious, even pre-transition.

    but, its scarjo, so theyll fork over a lot of green.

    other examples would be jonny depp or will smith, who have delivered quite a few sub-par performances in recent years, and depps audience appeal has suffered for other reasons, but still, big names.
    Big name atheletes seem to get paid far more than they used to. I wonder if the top actors are paid more in proportion to tne cost of the film than in the past.
    Last edited by Common Soldier; July 06, 2018 at 06:43 PM.

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